For more recipes that use flowers and herbs, see Flower Jelly Recipes.
•2-1⁄2 cups water
•2 cups fresh lilac flowers
•4 cups granulated sugar
•3 tablespoons lemon juice
•1 vanilla bean, split and scraped, pod discarded
•1 package (3 ounces) liquid pectin
• Purple food dye, optional
1. To prepare lids and bands: Place in saucepan and cover with water. Bring to simmer. Turn off heat and let sit until ready for use. Wash jars with hot, soapy water. Set aside to dry.
2. To prepare flowers: Remove any stems, leaves, or brown spots. Gently rinse in colander and pat dry.
3. To prepare jelly: In saucepan over medium-high heat, bring water to boil. Add flowers and any herbs you choose to use. Boil for about 1 minute. Remove from heat, and cover.
4. Let infusion sit for at least 4 hours or up to 2 days in refrigerator. The longer it sits, the better flavor it will yield.
5. Place fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth over mouth of quart jar. Pour infusion through strainer or cheesecloth to remove plant material.
6. In large heavy-bottom saucepan or pot over medium-high heat, combine flower infusion and sugar. Stir in lemon juice, vanilla bean scrapings, and food dye, if using. Bring to hard boil (220 degrees Fahrenheit on candy thermometer).
7. Add pectin and boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Ladle liquid jelly into hot, sterilized jars using funnel, leaving about 1⁄4-inch headspace. Wipe rims clean with damp cloth. Cap with sterilized canning lids and bands.
8. Carefully place filled jars in boiling water in stockpot. Boil for 10 minutes.
9. Using tongs, remove jars from stockpot and place upright on towel. Allow to cool for at least 24 hours. Test lids for proper sealing.